Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Embryo Adoption :: Home Study

Because we chose to do our embryo adoption through an agency {we chose Nightlight's Snowflake Program}, we were required to do a home study. Many times throughout the process, it was difficult for us to understand why we had to prove that we would be fit parents. We absolutely understand why home studies are in place {we wouldn't advocate for anything different}; but it was just another hardship in the infertility journey, knowing that we had to jump through some ridiculous hoops to prove that we weren't crazy.

We were given 2 options: a traditional domestic/international adoption study, or an embryo adoption-specific study. Since our adoption is so unique, we decided to move forward with the embryo adoption-specific home study. We knew we would need the education piece, more than anything. We will face many of the same issues as a traditional adoptive family, but there are also a number of issues that will be unique to our situation. We knew we would need all the help we could get! 

Our home study took about 3 months to complete. It could have been done sooner, but we started right before the holidays, which just slowed a number of things down. But even still, we were thankful that our home study didn't take longer than it did.

First there was paperwork...
  • Personal profile forms
  • 4-6 page autobiographies
  • SAFE questionnaires
  • Reference list
  • Employer information release forms
  • Financial statement
  • Copies of last year's income tax return
  • Proof of medical insurance coverage
  • Certified copy of marriage certificate
  • Certified copies of birth certificates
There was the background/medical checks...
  • FBI clearance checks {including fingerprinting*}
  • DMV driving record verifications
  • Physicals with our doctor

*So I found out you could get your fingerprints done for no charge {score!} at the county jail. Because our schedule was so busy, we decided to go at the crazy hour of 6am. I just figured there was a clerk that would help us; I had no idea that we would actually have to go inside the central booking station. Like, right there, looking at the people they put in holding cells overnight. We'll just say that we stuck out like sore thumbs. Good times. At least the officer was very sweet and wished us all the best in our adoption journey :)

The certifications and education...

And finally the home visit...

Our home evaluation worker was awesome! We had a Skype call with her, and then she came out for a home visit. When she came out, she observed our home and we underwent individual and joint interviews. The up side to the embryo adoption-specific study was that our home visit was less strict than in a traditional study. The reason being because we would not have children immediately in the home, since we would experience pregnancy first. She still had to come see where we lived to be sure we would be bringing a child into an overall safe environment. 

All ready for our home study :)

The home visit was the final piece of the process. Once she came out for a home visit and provided her professional write up, we received our official home study approval! We were deemed normal and safe enough to be parents...such a relief :)

Next step: the matching phase!

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